Go Fay Fay to arrive right on time
Go Fay Fay took his time about getting his act together last season, but timing and position are everything and the Elusive City gelding is placed to take a strong hand in tonight's Hong Kong Golf Club Centenary Cup (1,200m) at Happy Valley.
Go Fay Fay (Weichong Marwing) arrived with two wins from four starts in New Zealand, but was his own worst enemy for much of last season, often missing the start or overracing, until a change of tactics looked to change the game for him in the final months of the term.
Ridden more quietly, the five-year-old's improvement coincided with his drop into Class Four and he took out a race over this distance in that grade to finish the season.
But his Class Three resumption was enough to form the view that Go Fay Fay is right up to the class of the higher grade and can hold that form this term.
The gelding finished second to Super Plus first-up, finding the line after trailing him throughout along the inside rail.
Position was vital in that race as the lead tempo was not that strong, but Go Fay Fay rounded out his race with a strong sprint, and key to his prospects will be the likelihood of Marwing being able to find him a similar spot chasing the speed again from barrier five.
If he can, then a repeat of his last finishing run should be enough to see him tough to hold off when the leaders are sitting down late in the piece.
The Caspar Fownes-trained Windicator Returns (Brett Prebble) is certain to have his admirers moving back to an inside draw after having wider gates in two starts this season.
He has the speed to lead, but whether Prebble takes that option or a sit behind remains to be seen, as any leader is likely to have Destiny's Child (Ben So Tik-hung) or Ever Beauty taking aim at him.
However you slice it, the tempo looks genuine and that will suit Marwing and Go Fay Fay biding their time just off the speed.
Windicator Returns does appeal as more dangerous by reason of the draw and he has been consistent since the move of stable to Fownes last season. And the lightly weighted Caga Spirit (Howard Cheng Yue-tin) and Destiny's Child both appear to give their best at the Valley 1,200m, and there are reasons to suspect some improvement on their recent form.
More to come
Go Fay Fay has won once from 15 attempts in Hong Kong and has collected prize money of: HK$829,500